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Wife of Fort Bragg soldier named military post's Spouse of the Year

Evie King was named the 2017 Fort Bragg Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse magazine.

MILITARY SPOUSE MAGAZINE

By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 20, 2017

Growing up, Evie King told her friends and family that she would never marry a soldier.

But plans changed after meeting her then-future-spouse, Jon King, while both were in college.

Now King is not only an Army spouse, but according to Military Spouse magazine, one of the top spouses in the nation.

Last week, the magazine officially named King, whose husband is an Army captain working at U.S. Army Forces Command, as the 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Fort Bragg Spouse of the Year.

To earn the title, King topped online voting among nine Fort Bragg spouses, nominated by friends and family.

"I was touched," she said of the title. "I really hope that I get to do it justice."

King, whose husband has been stationed at Fort Bragg for a year, said she hoped to bring awareness to what local spouses have accomplished and continue to build in the local community.

She said many local spouses were dispelling the stereotype of what a military spouse is by not putting their own dreams and careers on the back burner.

Instead, the spouses are entrepreneurs and leaders, showing others that fulfilling careers and a spouse's military service don't have to be mutually exclusive.

"To me, Fort Bragg especially is full of military spouses that are breaking the traditional military spouse mold," King said. "There's just this feeling of possibility here that is different in other places."

King said there are challenges that come with being a military spouse.

Before she was married, King worked in corporate accounting for a manufacturing company in Ohio.

She wore a hard hat and steel-toed boots to work and loved what she did, she said.

After becoming a military spouse, however, she had to start over.

Most military communities are relatively small cities or towns that can often limit employment opportunities.

But at the same time, King - who grew up in a military family - said the Army has provided opportunities, too, fulfilling her dreams of living abroad and moving around the nation.

"It's worth it," she said. "If I had to, I would make the same decision to be a military spouse again."

King is community and operations manager for InDependent, a health and wellness project dedicated to health and fitness in the military community.

She's also an active member of In Gear Career, a professional networking program for military spouses.

"It's in my nature to connect people to other people," King said, and that's part of her hopes for her new platform.

King said she wants to help military spouses in the community learn what resources are available to them and discover the support network of spouses and others who can help them follow their dreams.

The enthusiasm she brings to those efforts is what spurred King's nomination.

Michele Bradfield, a cofounder of InDependent, says that King oversees 18 volunteer community ambassadors stationed around the world, while leading social media efforts to connect military spouses.

"Evie is a breath of fresh air," Bradfield said. "Her positivity is contagious. And she is helping military spouses live happier, healthier lives."

King was also nominated by Leslie Brians, last year's Military Spouse Fort Bragg Spouse of the Year.

"Evie is such a wonderful representative of and an advocate for the military spouse community," Brians said in the nomination. ".Her positivity is absolutely contagious, and her work ethic inspiring. In the year she has been at Fort Bragg, Evie has made a point to connect to the community at all levels. She inspires me not only as a colleague, but as a friend."

The Military Spouse magazine Spouse of the Year competition began in 2008.

The magazine names winners for individual installations, military branches and an overall Military Spouse of the Year.

Past recipients of that honor have included a stay-at-home dad who advocated for families with special needs, a mother of three who worked to streamline obstacles to higher education for military spouses and a Marine wife who raised more than $100 million to help wounded troops and their families.

brooksd@fayobserver.com

©2017 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Visit The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) at www.fayobserver.com
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